Beginning in the fourth grade, students change classes for some subjects. Concepts learned in the primary grades are expanded upon and students are expected to become more responsible for their academic progress.
The reading program emphasizes vocabulary development, oral reading skills, and comprehension, enabling the student to become an independent reader. Trade books are used to encourage the child to experience many and varied genres. Students in grades five and six participate in the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, a program involving both reading and writing, which is designed to help the children to recognize the importance of courage in themselves and others.
The language arts curriculum includes process writing, poetry, grammar, correct usage and mechanics, speaking and listening skills, along with dictionary and library skills. Spelling lessons are a review of phonics patterns learned in grades one through three, using words in meaningful context, and transferring spelling skills to the writing process.
The purpose of the mathematics program is to teach a combination of computation and problem solving skills. To be successful problem solvers, students must master the basic skills. Lessons and practice are reinforced with daily cumulative review, textbook assignments, computer programs, and regular math homework assignments.
The religion program in grade four focuses on the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Grade five studies the Mass and the Sacraments in depth. Grade six explores the history of the Catholic faith and the journey of God’s people as told in the Old Testament. The students are helped to apply concepts learned to their own lives.
A thematic, hands-on approach to science enables the child to explore various areas including plants and animals, properties of matter and energy, weather, earth, and oceans. Students are led to see science as part of technology, society, and personal experience.
The main focus of the fourth grade social studies curriculum is the study of the history and geography of the regions of the United States with emphasis on the state of Massachusetts. Grade five studies the history of the United States. The highlight of this study is “Colonial Day” which is celebrated in May, when parents assist students with crafts, food, art, music, and games of the 1700’s. The sixth grade centers on world cultures, beginning with prehistoric civilization and culminating with the Middle Ages.